Photo: Prominent human rights activist Ji Xiaolong (ChinaAid)
(Shanghai – January 20, 2023) On January 14, the contents of Ji Xiaolong’s indictment letter, a well-known Shanghai human rights activist, were revealed. According to the recent disclosure, the official judiciary arrested Mr. Ji during the COVID lockdown for criticizing the country’s leaders. Authorities recently resumed his case for supplementary investigation.
COVID in China
On the afternoon of January 11, 2023, Ji Xiaolong’s lawyer met with him at the Pudong Detention Center in Shanghai. According to the information released by Mr. Ji Xiaolong Concern Group, the lawyer told Ji about the situation of COVID in China, saying that the country has been fully reopened and many people have been infected. Ji Xiaolong noted that he was once infected in the detention center. At that time, he had pain all over his body and came down with a fever, but the detention center did not provide him with medications for treatment.
Sources disclosed that the detention center did not arrange for Ji Xiaolong to visit the dentist. The month Ji Xiaolong was arrested, the dentist gave a medical opinion and suggested periodontitis treatment; otherwise, he would not be able to receive dental implants in the future.
Ji Xiaolong read the prosecution’s opinion document to his lawyer. The main content has two aspects: one of them being Ji speaking out for relevant protests during the lockdown, and the official said he’s suspected of fabricating rumors. The other was the authorities stating that Ji Xiaolong was suspected of insulting the country’s leader. The specific details will only be revealed after the lawyer reads the document. Ji Xiaolong’s case was returned for supplementary investigation on January 5, and the lawyers will not be able to review the case until February 5.
In terms of procedure, Ji’s case has reached the prosecution stage in the People’s Procuratorate but has been returned for supplementary investigation. According to the relevant provisions of Chinese law, if, within one month, the prosecutor believes that the evidence of the case is insufficient, it does not meet the requirements for prosecution, the court will decide not to prosecute. In the case of the second supplementary investigation, if the prosecutor still believes that the evidence is insufficient and does not meet the requirements for prosecution, it may make a decision not to prosecute.
His work during zero-Covid
During the complete lockdown of Shanghai in April, Ji Xiaolong posted a letter on Weibo, WeChat, and Twitter on April 2, “Immediately stop the campaign-style disease prevention, relieve difficulties and send relief ——Shanghai Citizens’ Petition for the People.” It has been widely distributed and received widespread attention. He also sent a letter to Li Qiang, the Party Secretary of the Shanghai Municipal Committee at the time, who later joined and is now a member of China’s most powerful committee. Ji raised the question of accountability for the excessive COVID prevention policy in the early stage in Shanghai.
His efforts all fall within the category of freedom of speech stipulated in the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and are based on the most foundational humanitarian considerations.
After that, he organized volunteers in Shanghai to solve the difficulties and resolve the worries of citizens, aided migrant workers who had nowhere to live and offered legal assistance to citizens who were in severe economic difficulties due to covid lockdown.
For these reasons, Mr. Ji was summoned and detained by the Shanghai police many times and was taken away from his home by the police on August 31, 2022; on September 2 of the same year, he was formally placed under criminal detention by the police again; The People’s Procuratorate approved the arrest on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles,” and he was detained in Shanghai Pudong Detention Center.
~Gao Zhensai, Special Correspondent of ChinaAid